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Puerto Rico Senate rejects solar taxes to repay PREPA’s debt

The Puerto Rico Senate approved a resolution to order the Strategic Projects and Energy Committee to carry out an investigative process to identify alternatives to repay the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) debt — which do not include solar taxes — and are in compliance with Act 17-2019, known as the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act.

“The Senate deemed necessary that any solution related to the payment of PREPA’s debt must respect the need for continuity of service without affecting consumers’ finances,” said Sen. Javier Aponte-Dalmau, who penned Senate Resolution 270.

“Given this, it was ordered through this Resolution that an investigation be carried out that includes, not only the government sector, but also affected parties and expert voices of civil society, in the search for legally viable solutions for the repayment of the debt of said public corporation, which do not result in an increase in energy rates for citizens, in accordance with the mandates of Ac 17-2019,” Aponte-Dalmau said.

Meanwhile, Javier Rúa-Jovet, chief public policy officer of the Puerto Rico Solar Energy and Storage Association (SESA-PR) welcomed the investigation, which will include public hearings and a report with findings, conclusions, and recommendations within 90 days following Resolution’s approval.

“Solar taxes are illegal in Puerto Rico. Act 17 specifically prohibits any direct or indirect charges to renewable self-generation by prosumers,” Rúa-Jovet said.

PJ Wilson, founder and president of SESA-PR, said the organization “trusts the action of the Legislative Assembly and the results of Resolution 270, which should support a public policy that promotes leading the island toward the use of clean energy sources, stable and resilient like solar energy with energy storage.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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